Why Is Okra Beneficial for People with Diabetes and How to Use It | Diabetes Health Page

Why Is Okra Beneficial for People with Diabetes and How to Use It

By NeNa | Articles

Dec 29

Do you use okra, or lady’s fingers, in your kitchen? This green pod vegetable is native to Egypt and dates back to 12th century.

It’s an amazing source of fiber, potassium, calcium, folic acid, and vitamins A, B6, and C. On the other hand, it’s extremely low in calories and carbs, which makes it a perfect choice for people with diabetes.

Thanks to its fantastic nutrient content, okra helps:

  • boost the immune system
  • reduce blood pressure
  • regulate glucose metabolism
  • reduce cardiovascular risk
  • promotes healthy gut bacteria and satiety
  • regulate blood glucose levels

How Is Okra Beneficial for People with Diabetes

There are several reasons why okra is a good vegetable option for those with diabetes.

1. High in Dietary Fiber

These pods are rich in dietary fiber which helps digestion and elimination, keeps you full for longer, and cuts hunger cravings. What’s more, it improves the glycemic control and insulin sensitivity, which is important for managing diabetes.

2. Helps Manage Stress

According to mice studies, okra seed extracts have anti-stress and antioxidant effects. Managing stress is crucial for proper diabetes management. Otherwise, it could cause blood sugar spikes which can lead to many diabetes complications.

Also, you can use this vegetable to protect your mental health.

3. Reduces Cholesterol

Animal research shows okra can help reduce cholesterol in mice with diabetes. And, foods high in fiber and antioxidant content help reduce cholesterol levels, which is extremely beneficial for people with diabetes.

In fact, according to the American Heart Association, diabetes increases the risk of high cholesterol levels. So, when high blood sugar is combined with high cholesterol, the results are not good. Therefore, your diet should provide you with healthy cholesterol levels.

4. Anti-Fatigue Benefit

Studies suggest that consuming okra, along with following a healthy exercise routine, can speed up the recovery from fatigue. Cardiovascular activity is a crucial part of the prevention and treatment of diabetes. So, this vegetable might contribute to a more active lifestyle.

5. Reduces Blood Sugar Levels

Okra contains myricetin – a substance which increases the absorption of sugar in muscles, according to a rat study. Moreover, one research shows that eating okra for 28 days reduces blood sugar levels in rats with diabetes.

Another one shows that eating purified okra reduces blood sugar spikes after eating in rats with diabetes. But, the vegetable proved to block the absorption of the diabetes drug metformin, so it shouldn’t be consumed at the same time with the drug.

How to Use Okra

You can use it in the following forms:

  • okra water – soak some okra pods in water overnight, and drink the liquid.
  • okra peel – eat half a teaspoon of okra peel, and use a lemon zester or handheld kitchen grater to obtain it.
  • powdered seeds – you can find it as a supplement
  • recipe ideas – include the gel inside okra in soups and stews; make pickled okra

Points to Consider

  • If you take metformin, you should avoid this vegetable, since it reduces its effects. So, it’s best to consult your doctor if you plan to start any holistic treatment, such as okra
  • Also, it might raise the risk of kidney stones, as it contains oxalates. So, avoid it if you’re prone to kidney stones
  • Do not use rotten, not thoroughly washed, or frozen okra whose printed date has passed
  • Avoid it if you are allergic to cotton, hibiscus, and okra